Defining the Key Competences and Skills for Young Low Achievers’ in Lifelong Learning by the Voices of Students, Trainers and Teachers


  • Marta Pinto University of Porto
  • João Caramelo University of Porto
  • Susana Coimbra University of Porto
  • Manuela Terrasêca University of Porto
  • Gabriella Agrusti LUMSA University



Europe has stressed the importance of lifelong learning as a way for its citizens to enrol and to engage fully in day-to-day demands of work and citizenship life events. Support is more urgent for those who are at risk of social and educational exclusion. This paper presents an overview on the goals of the European project LIBE “Supporting Lifelong learning with Inquiry-Based Education”, that aims at designing, developing and trying out an innovative e-learning management system devoted to develop key information processing skills for ICT with an inquiry-based approach to learning, focused on the young adult population (16-24) that have low levels of competences regarding literacy, numeracy and ICT skills. Additionally, it presents the results of a content analysis of focus groups sessions, carried out with Portuguese teachers, trainers and students, aiming to identify the key competences and skills most needed by young low achievers. The Portuguese results integrate the alignment of the proposal of the LIBE framework for the learning outcomes, instructional objectives and ICT key information processing competencies. Results highlight literacy skills and social competence as the most relevant for the target audience, adding ICT competences as very important in developing literacy skills and self-efficacy. Pedagogical support is considered a significant part of the students’ successful learning, both in face-to-face or e-learning environments.

Author Biographies

Marta Pinto, University of Porto

Marta Pinto holds a PhD in Multimedia in Education and is a Research Assistant (LIBE project) at Faculty of Psychology and Education Science of University of Porto, Portugal.

João Caramelo, University of Porto

João Caramelo is Assistant Professor in Sciences of Education at the University of Porto, Portugal. His research interests are Adult Education and Educational Assessment Processes and Policies.

Susana Coimbra, University of Porto

Susana Coimbra is Assistant Professor and researcher in Psychology at the University of Porto, Portugal. Her research interests include SES and gender differences on self-efficacy, resilience, and intergenerational solidarity during adolescence and transition to adulthood.

Manuela Terrasêca, University of Porto

Manuela Terrasêca lectured as Associate Professor in the Psychology and Sciences of Education Department at the University of Porto. Her research interests are Education Systems, Policies and Institutions Evaluation. Currently is the IR of a Brazil-Portugal cooperation project on School Evaluation and Public Policies and the Portuguese national coordinator of LIBE project.

Gabriella Agrusti, LUMSA University

Gabriella Agrusti is Professor of Research Methods in Education at LUMSA University – Department of Humanities. She works on key competences assessment and development, on civic and citizenship education (IEA-ICCS 2009 and 2016 study) and on e-learning (LIBE project).

LUMSA University, via di Porta Castello, 44 – 00193 Roma (Italy)


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How to Cite

Pinto, M., Caramelo, J., Coimbra, S., Terrasêca, M., & Agrusti, G. (2016). Defining the Key Competences and Skills for Young Low Achievers’ in Lifelong Learning by the Voices of Students, Trainers and Teachers. JSSE - Journal of Social Science Education, 15(1), 53–62.